Last year, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and pulled funds from other government accounts to help construct portions of a border wall. In January, the administration reached a milestone of 100 miles on the construction.
Then last month, the Department of Homeland Security waived 10 contracting laws that will allow another 177 miles of the border wall to be built more quickly in the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The DHS said in a statement, “Under the president’s leadership, we are building more wall, faster than ever before.”
Obviously, for the Trump administration, building the wall along the southern border is much more than a campaign rally chant.
It’s serious business.
The topic of immigration has been in the news recently as a result of the New Way Forward Act, a bill sponsored in the House of Representatives. Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that the bill “fundamentally inverts every assumption you have about America. Under this legislation, the criminals are the victims.”
The border crisis has struck a nerve, as evidenced by the fever pitch of the debate on news talk shows. What is this raw nerve? And what is really happening at the border?
In 2019, two respected Christian leaders, Sam Rodriguez and Dr. James Dobson, traveled to the border to see the situation for themselves. Upon returning, they tried as best they could to get out the word on what they saw, which differs from the leftist view often presented in the media. I highlight their visits in my book, “God, Trump, and the 2020 Election.”
Dobson, a venerated evangelical leader, visited the border at McAllen, Texas, at the invitation of the White House. He then sent out a widely circulated letter to his constituents. Dobson said his heart aches for those caught up in the debacle at the border. He wrote:
“Lest I be misunderstood, let me make clear that I am among the majority of Americans who want the border to be closed to those who attempt to enter illegally. There has to be a better solution than this. I have wondered, with you, why the authorities don’t just deny these refugees access to this nation. Can’t we just send them back to their places of origin? The answer I received was ‘No,’ for reasons I will explain.
“Only 10 percent of the detainees are Mexicans. This year alone, people have come to our southern border from 127 countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, India, China, Albania, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and other nations around the world. They speak their native tongues, which means they can’t be understood by each other or the staff. What are we to do with them? The Mexican government will not take them back, and there is no place to send them. Our current laws do not permit us to repatriate them to their country of origin. This is a disaster with no solution or projected conclusion.”
Then Dobson makes this profound point about what will happen if we do nothing: “Their numbers will soon overwhelm the culture as we have known it, and it could bankrupt the nation. America has been a wonderfully generous and caring country since its founding. That is our Christian nature. But in this instance, we have met a worldwide wave of poverty that will take us down if we don’t deal with it. And it won’t take long for the inevitable consequences to happen.”
Newly promoted border patrol leader Raul Ortiz is also offering a unique vantage point for what is going on at our southern border. Deputy Chief Ortiz’s career has spanned nearly 30 years. He joined the agency when there were only 5,000 agents and is now second in command, leading more than 22,000 agents. Part of his mission is to make sure an accurate tale of what is happening at the border is told.
“I think what a lot of people don’t really understand is that agents are willing to put their life on the line to make sure somebody else makes it home to a family. And we do that with very little regard sometimes for our own safety, because we just know what's the right thing to do,” he explained.
As leaders such as Dobson and officials like Ortiz speak out, the truth about the situation is becoming better understood—as well as the risk of allowing this flood of immigration to continue.
(Stephen E. Strang is an award-winning journalist, Charisma founder and author of the best-seller “God and Donald Trump.” This content was excerpted from his new book, “God, Trump, and the 2020 Election.”)